Friday, June 22, 2007

Doomed to The Dome

So the languishing white elephant on the shores of Greenwich is now renamed O2, a name which strikes me as being about as silly as The Dome. Stinks, my old chemistry master, could have told them that it stands for oxygen but I suppose it's better than calling it H2S, although that may well be the result, especially as it's built on the site of an old gasworks.
The American investors are pouring an enormous amount of money into the project which, from the pictures I've seen, looks like Tesco meets Las Vegas, the sort of entertainmentopolis that I would not be found alive in, let alone dead.
The proposed casino area is discreetly fenced off whilst the board of directors are no doubt waiting to see which of Gordon Brown's team will be the most suitable recipient of a backhander in order to get their gambling licence back. At the same time, they may be considering means of repossessing the cowboy boots, belt and hat from one, J. Prescott, that failed to do the trick last time.
To me, it's a peculiarly unlovely building that would look better demolished and forgotten and will hardly bring much added lustre to Greenwich. There are more worthy things of interest in the area.
The Greenwich observatory which, to the chagrin of America, still regulates the world's time and defines its longitude, is home to a marvellous collection of clocks, including John Harrison's timepiece that solved the riddle of establishing longitude. Dava Sobel has written a superb book on this entitled “Longitude.”
And then there's the National Maritime Museum, a treasury of the nation's sea-going history whose buildings includes the Queen's House, designed by Inigo Jones.
The area is replete with other fine examples of good architecture and the Old Royal Naval College is a masterpiece of Sir Christopher Wren's, whose beautiful work, complete with dome, is in stark contrast to the obscene dome nearby on which so much money is being lavished.
O2, who strangely are in the telephone business it seems, are inaugurating their venture with a concert by Bon Jovi, a rock group.
For a more tasteful experience in the area, I suggest a walk in Greenwich Park.
Get some O2 in your lungs and try and forget about The Dome, an excrescence on an otherwise attractive scene.
Earplugs may be advisable when Bon Jovi strike up.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home